NEW YORK -- "Downton Abbey" won't be the only place fans can see Elizabeth McGovern this winter: The show's star is heading on a tour with her folk-rock band in December.

McGovern is the lead singer for Sadie and the Hotheads, which embarks on its first U.S. tour Dec. 4 in Washington. The 10-date tour wraps Dec. 14 in Hartford, Connecticut.

McGovern plays the role of American heiress Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham, on the hit "Downton Abbey," which has its fifth season premiere on Jan. 4. The timing of the tour and the show's return is a coincidence, McGovern said.

"It's a slightly funny experience for fans of the show to come hear the music because it's such a different world to the show itself," McGovern told The Associated Press on Sunday. "When we first started touring there would be a lot of people carrying 'Downtown Abbey' books ... and I could see a look of surprise on their faces because it isn't what you expect. I mean it's not a classical quartet of violins."

The PBS series has earned the 53-year-old actress Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Sadie and the Hotheads have performed in Europe. The seven-member group released their debut album in 2007 and dropped their third album, "Still Waiting," earlier this year.

"It's an electric mix of songs in terms of musical genre," she said.

McGovern received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress for her role in the 1981 movie "Ragtime." She has appeared onstage in New York and London.

"I think it's coming at the right time since we slowly built experience with each other," she said of performing in America. "I feel like we're more ready than we've ever been ... I go there with more confidence than I would have in the past."

Their 2012 album, "How Not to Lose Things," featured guest vocals from Michelle Dockery, who plays McGovern's eldest daughter, Lady Mary Crawley, on "Downton Abbey."

"There's a lot of her spirit in that album," McGovern said.

McGovern said fans can expect "rich" and "textured" moments from the upcoming season of "Downton."

Sadie and the Hotheads' tour will visit New York City; Newark, New Jersey; and Annapolis, Maryland. Most tickets go on sale Friday.